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Publisher, Author Conducts Writing Workshop for BMS Students

Anna Gilstrap
November 30, 2017

Splond speaks to Berry MS students Birmingham author Chandra Sparks Splond visited Berry Middle School this fall to speak with students who work as editors on the school’s literary magazine, The Phoenix, and offer them writing tips and tricks.

Splond visited teacher Dianna Minor’s class where she presented from the various writing perspectives with which she is familiar: novelist, editor, and publisher. Through a hands-on writing workshop, students gained insight into what it means to be a working writer.

“The good thing about [the visit] was a perspective about the writing life,” said BMS student Nicole Lober. “Most authors just talk about their books, but this one gave us an inside look.”

Minor believes Splond’s message of “perseverance” resonated most with students.

“[Splond said] ‘just write.’ In order to be a writer, you must write something every day, not every other day, but every day. It doesn’t have to be a perfect piece, it could be something as simple as jotting down an idea,” Minor said.

Another key message delivered by Splond: inspiration: the writer encouraged students to never to abandon writing - regardless of the inevitable “writer’s block.”

“She told us not to give up on writing,” eighth grader Camille Chase said. “That was really helpful because I had been struggling with writing lately.”

Splond is an alumna of Ramsay High School in Birmingham and the University of Alabama.  Upon graduation with a degree in journalism, she worked as an editor and publisher in New York City. She has worked in publishing for more than 20 years, and currently owns West End Publishing.

Along with her experiences in editing and publishing, Splond has published several novels. Her book Spin It Like That was chosen as a Popular Paperback for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).  Her book The Pledge was a 2010 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.